Thursday, 8 September 2016

Let's Talk About Sex



Move along if you're looking for a Salt n Pepa homage because today's post is getting down and real about sex. In the spirit of Women's Health Week here in Australia I want to get to the nitty gritty and give a little nod to awareness, proper representation and discussing the elephant in the room in regards to Women's Health.

I know that I was very lucky to grow up in a liberated household where topics like sex and nudity were spoken about freely, but I'm also aware that not everyone is able to have such an open and honest relationship with their family members especially when it comes to more 'taboo' topics. In my friendships, I find myself in the position of big sister and more often than not I'm always dishing out advice. Sex is quite prevalent in the media, TV shows, music- it's almost always talked about, but not necessarily in an informative and truthful way, so I'm here to debunk the myths in a way that is as Big-Sisterly' and factually correct as possible.


Contraception

Unless you are planning a family, chances are that you will be looking at various different contraception methods and trying to find the one that suits you and your sexual partner best.

Here are a few of the most common contraception methods used:

The Male Condom

Probably the most commonly known form of contraception, the male condom is not only able to reduce your risk of pregnancy (95-98% effective) but also protect you and your partner's risk of contracting a STI (sexually transmitted infection). 

The Female Condom

Much like the male version of the condom, the female condom can protect you from an STI and reduce your risk of pregnancy. However, only one or the other must be used during sex.

Diaphragm

A diaphragm is a soft, silicone dome with a flexible rim which covers your cervix and acts as a barrier method in regards to contraception. You can insert this yourself from the comfort of your own home and can be inserted at any time before having sex as long as it's not left in place for more than 24 hours. 

The Contraceptive Pill

Another commonly known contraceptive method, 'The Pill' is 92% effective against pregnancy when taken correctly, however it does not protect you against STI's. It is made from two synthetic hormones which mimic your body's natural oestrogen and progesterone hormones and stops your body releasing an egg while taking them. When you finish these 3 rows of 'active' pills and reach the row of sugar pills, that is when your body registers that it can have a period. 

Contraceptive Implants such as an IUD

There are a few different contraceptive implants available, the most talked out is an Intrauterine Device (IUD) which is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two different types, one is a Copper IUD and the other a Hormonal IUD and they are both 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and can last between five to ten years. 

Emergency Contraception such as The Morning After Pill

Sometimes as much effort as you put into planning your contraception, things can go wrong. Pills may be missed and condoms can be broken. Fortunately there is an emergency pill that can be taken up to 96 hours (4 days) after intercourse, although it is most effective when taken in the first 24 hours.  Emergency contraception is available in pharmacies over the counter without a prescription.



Pap Smear

A pap test or pap smear is a simple test that checks for the changes in the cervix that could lead to cervical cancer. It is recommended that all women aged 18-70 who are/ have been sexually active go for a smear every two years or one to two years after first sexual activity. Most pap test results are normal and only a small number of women show changes in the cells of the cervix. Usually, these changes are minor and can be treated or clear up on their own. However, in a very small number of cases when changes are not treated, they may turn into cervical caner. This is why having a pap test is so important.

Regular pap tests can find the changes that lead to the most common type of cervical cancer and these can screenings save more than 1,200 women from cervical cancer each year.


STI Testing

An STI can be passed from one person to another during sexual contact and intercourse and because some STIs don't necessarily show signs or symptoms, they can be quite hard to detect and even harmful to yourself and others if left untreated. Lesbian and bisexual women are also at risk of contracting an STI so it's important that you do get yourself tested if you've had unprotected sex and/ or you're staring a new sexual relationship.

If you are considering having unprotected sex, it is important to speak up and ask your partner whether they have an STI or have been tested. It is also important that you are honest too as you both have the right to know your risk and whether you're willing to have unprotected sex or not.

Consent

Consent is the single most important factor when it comes to sex. Making sure you have your partner's consent before and during sex as well as them having your consent is extremely vital in a mutually beneficial and positive experience. Most importantly to note: you are allowed to consent to sex and later change your mind at any point, especially if something doesn't feel right. Take back your consent by saying no or "stop".

Consent can also be taken back if one of you is drunk, on drugs, or feels scared or forced, the consent you give doesn't count.

For more information regarding the laws around sex and consent visit The Line.


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I would love to open up the discussion to you in the comments. 
What are your thoughts on opening up about sex and do you agree that it is a taboo topic?

Please let me know if you enjoyed the change of pace with this post, I would really like to open up to more topics like this in the future!

4 comments:

  1. I don't think sex education is a taboo topic! Love to know how you have awareness about it. Nice one :)

    Oh Dear Bumblebees

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    1. Thank you so much Mitch! So glad you enjoyed the post :)

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      Anjelique

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  2. This is so important to share mostly because there is a lot of people who don't know about staying protected, thanks for sharing!

    My Vogue Style | www.myvoguestyle.com

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you agree Camila! Thanks for reading :)

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      Anjelique

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